Baseball

Zionsville's Eli Bell (left) and Clay Burton celebrate after winning game two of Friday night's double header.

Westfield — Zionsville head baseball coach Jered Moore knows that his team has to start playing better in the first game of series.

So while he was happy to see his team show resiliency in the second game of Friday's double-header with Brownsburg, winning game two 5-4 after losing the first one 5-1, he wants to see that urgency right out of the gate.

"It is a good sign, but what we work on all season is getting ready for the post-season," Moore said. "And if this is the approach we are going to take every series, then it is going to be a short post-season. We have to come out ready to play that first game, and make those little plays that have cost us in those games, and get off to a better start."

The Eagles are being completely out-played in game ones this year.

In the series openers against Fishers and HSE, the Eagles lost a pair of one-run games before winning game two. But, including Friday night's loss to Brownsburg, the Eagles are averaging just one run a game in the openers of HCC series.

"I really don't know what it is and I think it is different each game," Moore said. "Tonight, (Travis) Bevington came out and threw well, but I don't know if they were off-balance like they were against HSE. I just don't think we had a good approach, and I think that hurt us more than anything."

After dropping the first game, things did not start well for the Eagles in the second game.

Zionsville committed three errors in the first inning, allowing Brownsburg to take a 2-0 lead. The Eagles tied the game in the top of the third, but three more Zionsville errors allowed two more Brownsburg runs to score in the fourth.

But after that Clay Burton shut the door on the Brownsburg offense. He faced one over the minimum for the final 4 2/3, allowing one walk (which was erased by a double-play) and a single during that time.

He allowed just two hits in the game, striking out six.

"Clay pitched really well," Moore said. "It wasn't just at the end of the game, he was really good in the beginning, but we had six errors. They weren't hitting the ball hard all game. He was commanding everything today, and was able to pitch around the errors, it was just a little annoying because it kept us from being to relax when he was pitching so well, and had to play on our heels a little bit."

The Eagles came back to tie the game in the top of the fourth.

They stranded a runner on third in the fifth and two in the sixth, but didn't waste their opportunity in the top of the seventh.

With one out, David Novak and Eli Bell were both hit by pitches to put two on with one out. After a ground out, Jake Naspinski followed with a four-pitch walk, and Hopper Bumgardner followed with a walk of his own to drive in the game-winning run.

"We were really able to work some counts in that inning," Moore said. "It shouldn't have taken us that long to have some good plate appearances, but the kids at the plate that inning did a heck of a job. They realized the situation, and Hopper got right up there on the plate. He knew the pitcher was struggling and was going to make him throw strikes. It was nice to see the guys using their heads there."

The Eagles are now 6-6 on the season and 3-3 in the HCC.

They next play Thursday at Franklin Central.

Moore said the next few practices are going to be focused on hitting and having the right approach at the plate.

"We are going to work quite a bit on hitting," Moore said. "Too often we are swinging at a curveball, and then taking an 0-1 fastball right down the middle. We are swinging at bad pitches in hitters' counts and watching the good ones go by, and it's a little frustrating right now."

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